Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) Managing Director and Chief Executive Cheong Choong Kong signed a record order for up to 77 Boeing 777 aircraft worth US$12.7 billion including the cost of spares and spare engines. President and CEO of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, signed for the manufacturer.
The ceremony, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, was attended by US Secretary for Transportation Federico Pena, Commerce Under Secretary Stuart E Eizenstat, the US Ambassador to Singapore, Mr. Timothy Chorba, and Singapore’s Ambassador to the US, Mr. S R Nathan.
The size of the order, which was announced in November 1995 is a record for SIA. Of the 77 aircraft, 34 are on firm order, with 43 on option. Six of the firm orders and 10 of the options are intended for Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE), SIA’s Singapore based leasing associate.
SIA has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 800 Series engines to power its 61 B7778. SALE has also selected Trent engines for the six B777 it has on firm order.
Including the B777 order, SIA has now purchased or ordered 207 Boeing aircraft, worth a total of US$25 billion, since SIA’s inception in 1972, after Malaysia-Singapore Airlines was split into twocarriers.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr Cheong said that the B777 would mark an exciting new phase in the long partnership in aircraft development between SIA and Boeing. In his remarks, he praised the US Government’s recent efforts to liberalize air transport by signing “open skies” agreements with Canada and several countries in Europe. Liberalization of aviation, he said, brought significant benefits to economies, consumers, airlines and aircraft and aero-engine manufacturers.
Dr Cheong urged the US to extend the offer of open skies agreements to countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which is expected to become the world’s largest aviation market within the next 15 years. Singapore was ready to be a pioneering partner. “We are putting our money where our mouth is by placing a US$12.7 billion order for 77 B777s”, he said.
SIA has the right to substitute any of the B777-200Bs with other members of the family. Of interest to the Airlines is the stretched version, the B777-300, with around 350 seats, and the super long-range version, the B777-100, which will have a range of 8,500 nautical miles.